Molecular Engineering of WMD (Weapons of Microbial Destruction)

Karl Griswold, Assistant Professor, Thayer School of Engineering

Friday, February 1, 2013, 3:30pm

Spanos Auditorium

This seminar is part of the Jones Seminars on Science, Technology, and Society series.

The discovery and development of antibiotics has proven one of the most impactful medical advances of the 20th century. Without a doubt, many aspects of modern medicine are predicated upon physicians’ ability to effectively combat bacterial infections. On the other side of the equation, bacterial populations are frighteningly adept at responding to antibacterial chemotherapies, and microbial pathogens have demonstrated the capacity to subvert virtually every antibiotic in the clinician’s toolbox. Today, drug-resistant and multidrug-resistant bacteria constitute widely recognized threats to public health, and the escalating frequency of drug-resistant infections is intensifying demand for next generation therapeutics. This talk will highlight our ongoing efforts to create performance-enhanced antibiotics through molecular engineering of antimicrobial proteins.

About the Speaker

Dr. Karl Griswold is an assistant professor of engineering at Dartmouth. His academic training includes studying as a DOW Foundation Scholar at Texas State University, where he graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in chemistry. After two years working for Thermo Electron Corporation and another two years at Huntsman Petrochemical Corporation, Griswold left the industrial sector to pursue graduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D. in 2005 and then completed an interdisciplinary postdoctoral fellowship at the UT Department of Chemical Engineering before joining the Thayer School faculty in 2007. His research is focused on biomolecular engineering and its application to the study and development of therapeutic agents. Professor Griswold is a project leader in both the Dartmouth Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence and the Dartmouth Lung Biology Center. He has active collaborations with the Dartmouth Computer Science Department, the Geisel School of Medicine, and the University of Vermont School of Medicine. In 2008, he received a Coulter Foundation Early Career Award, which funded the development of patent-pending antibacterial enzymes. Professor Griswold’s work with his Thayer research team and other collaborators has been published in 14 peer-reviewed journal articles and four peer-reviewed conference papers.